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3 Suspects Have Been Arrested In Connection With Philadelphia Anti-Gay Attack

Update: Three individuals facing multiple assault charges in connection with the attack turned themselves in this morning and were arrested, according to a statement from the Philadelphia Police Department.

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Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday it has approved the arrest warrants for three people in connection with a Sept. 11 anti-gay attack in the Center City neighborhood.

The district attorney said Philip Williams, 24, Kevin Harrigan, 26, and Kathryn Knott, 24, will face charges for their alleged involvement in the attack that left a gay couple with multiple injuries. All three people are from Pennsylvania's Bucks County, according to the DA's office.

All three defendants will be charged with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault, two counts of recklessly endangering another person (REAP), and one count of criminal conspiracy, the DA's office said in a statement.

"I would like to thank the police for their thorough investigation and the public for the outpouring of information and tips in this case," said District Attorney Seth Williams in the statement. "This vicious attack shocked the entire country. An assault on people because of their sexual orientation has no place in Philadelphia."

Philadelphia Police Department spokeswoman Rhonda Bowens told BuzzFeed News that authorities will wait for the three to turn themselves in for arrest.

The DA's office has previously said that people charged in the attack will not face hate crime charges because of Pennsylvania's hate crimes law, which currently only calls for more severe charges for crimes motivated by the victim's religion, race, or ethnicity. State lawmakers are making an urgent push to amend the law to include LGBT protections after the attack.

The two victims in the attack were approached by a group of about 10–12 men and women around 10:45 on Sept. 11. Some in the group made anti-gay remarks and then held the victims down and punched them in the head, chest, and face before fleeing the scene with a victim's bag containing a wallet and credit cards, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. One of the victims — who both have remained anonymous — suffered a fractured jaw, which needed to be wired shut.

Two of the three suspects charged in that attack surrendered to police early on Wednesday morning accompanied by their attorneys, WPVI-TV reported.

Around 7:30 a.m., Philip Williams, 24, and Kathryn Knott, 24, of Bucks County, Pennsylvania gave themselves up to face arrest and the charges filed against them Tuesday by the Philadelphia District Attorney's office.

Police expect a third person, Kevin Harrigan, 26, to also turn himself in on Wednesday.

When reached by BuzzFeed News, a Philadelphia Police spokesperson could not confirm whether the two were in police custody as of 8:30 a.m., but said that police will release information when any suspects in the case are processed.

Both Williams' and Knott's attorneys commented on the case, NBC 10 reported. Williams' attorney Fortunato Perri Jr., said the incident was the result of a "mutual confrontation" and was not related to the victims' sexual orientation. Knott's attorney said the 24-year-old had no part in the attack, according to the report.

Kevin Harrigan has also surrendered himself to police as was expected. Williams, Knott and Harrigan have been arrested according to a statement from the Philadelphia Police Department.

A previous version of this item misspelled the name of a suspect in the case, Kathryn Knott. The Philadelphia Police Department issued a statement correcting previous information that included the misspelled name.